Bridge Buildging Rules and Guidelines

I think this is one of the most difficult contests in Science Olympics. One must read the directions below carefully before participating this contest. Often times, participants will be disqualified for not adhering to the rules mentioned below:

Bridge Building

Objective: To build a bamboo bridge that can support the heavieest load.

Apparatus: Construction and materials of the bridge are as follows:

  1. The bridge shall be constructed by the team before the contest.
  2. Bamboo sticks and sewing thread are the only materials to be used.
  3. Only cloth sewing thread will be used in tying or fastening the bamboo sticks of the bridge.
  4. The total mass of the bridge and sewing thread shall not exceed 100 grams.
  5. The bridge shall allow a 10 cm cube to slide underneath perpendicular to the bridge's length without touching the bridge.
  6. The bridge shall allow a 40 cm wide by 2 cm high board to slide underneath perpendicular to the bridge's length without touching the bridge.
  7. The bridge must be free-standing.
  8. The bridge shall provide a smooth and level surface across which a small car of the “Matchbox” variety may roll given a single push of the hand. The road surface (level surface) shall have a minimaum length of 20 cm.
  9. The bridge shall contain no element wider thatn 5 mm X 5 mm bamboo stick. Two or more single pieces, each separately qualifying, may be attached by the student without violating this requirement.
  10. The bridge design shall allow masses (weights) to be hung at the center of the bridge. For this purpose, a rope should be used. It should be placed over the level surface, at the center of the bridge, and should be formed into a closed loop such that a weight hanger can be hung at the lower porting of the loop. Weights can then be placed on the weight hanger.
  11. Only one bridge may be entered per team. All entries must be submitted during registration.
  12. Any bridge not meeting the above restrictions will be automatically disqualified.
  13. Once the bridge is checked in, no further work on it will be allowed or permitted.


  1. The bridge shall be placed upon the ends of two level table surfaces appoximately 35 cm apart.
  2. Aweight hanger shall be suspended from the lower portion of the loop of a rope placed over the level surface at the center of the bridge. Standard weights should be slowly added until an audible cracking sound, or any sign indicationg the failure of some structural member or joint of the bridge, is noted.
  3. The maximum load supported by the bridge before cracking divided by the mass of the bridge will determine the winners accordingly.


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